Michelle Dion has posted her thoughts on the recently-concluded political methodology conference at Penn State. I’ll echo her kudos to the organizers among the Penn State faculty and grad students, most notably Burt Monroe (who took time out to check in with the participants over the course of the meeting) and Suzie DeBoef. I also got some useful feedback and interest regarding the poster, which will be strong motivation to finish up the paper and get it out to the Working Papers archive and off to Political Analysis.
Like Michelle, I do wonder sometimes about the ability of the “core group” to reach out to the practitioners who don’t attend PolMeth and whose dues support the viability of the section and its journal. Notably, there has been some discussion of the section getting more actively involved in the Teaching Research Methods track at the APSA Teaching and Learning Conference, although I wonder if there is an awareness of what that track has done in the past on the part of the appointed committee (I’m pretty sure none of its members have been within 100 miles of a past TLC, and only one represents a non-research-oriented department), which may make for some interesting toe-trampling over the next few months.
My departure from State College was rather more eventful than one might have hoped; Northwest cancelled my 6:00 a.m. flight to Detroit and rebooked me on Delta via Atlanta, an airport which I’m pretty sure is foreseen somewhere in Dante’s works. As a special bonus I also got to enjoy the thrill and excitement of being SSSS'd by TSA. The good news is that at least I made it back in one piece.
Anyway, back to packing; Dad arrives tomorrow and I’d like it to look like I’ve made at least a modicum of progress here.
The poster presentation today went moderately well, all things considered, and a few people indicated interest in seeing the completed paper in the near future. Compared to the other projects on my plate, that may be comparatively easy to do.
The only real extension I want to do for now is to tweak the R
simex package to allow the error variances for covariates to be different between observations; I also think I can cleanup the call syntax a bit to make it a bit more “R-like,” but that has less to do with the paper proper—except cleaning up the call syntax will make it easier to implement my tweak.
Since I have a lovely 6 am flight tomorrow, I’ve spent much of the afternoon packing and getting ready for the trip back to St. Louis; I’ll probably wander towards the closing reception in a little while, once everything’s close to organized for the morning.
Well, except for the “printing the poster” part, but I have a hookup for that.
It’s a little light on the pretty graphs and way too heavy on text, but I don’t think I had much to graph that would be worthwhile. And the text is important; or, at least, I think so, since I wrote it. And it’s probably halfway to being a paper, particularly once you put back in the stuff I commented out to get it to fit on a (really really big) page.
For my readers who won’t be in State College—or, for those who will and don’t feel like dropping by the faculty poster session—you can check it out here. It came out surprisingly well, considering that as of 48 hours ago I had approximately nothing after thinking I’d hit a brick wall.
The real geeks will be interested to know that this is the first time I used XeLaTeX, the
fontspec package, and the
sciposter documentclass. The body text is set in DejaVu Sans Condensed and fixed-pitch text is in Inconsolata, which are two of my favorite typefaces (and beat the hell out of the defaults, which were Helvetica and Courier).
I have determined that I am not very good at algorithmically generating fake roll call data. It may be time (tomorrow) for Plan B on the methods meeting poster, which will probably involve not doing anything with fake data but instead doing stuff with ideal point estimates with higher estimated error variance than ones derived from congressional roll calls.
Packing the office is going slower than I’d have expected—almost all of the books are now packed, but I ran out of tape before sealing up all the boxes. So it’ll be Monday at least before that project is done.
The good(?) news is that gives me the weekend to focus on the methods meeting paper, which has also lagged behind a bit this week.
From an email from the methods meeting cohost to poster presenters:
Please post your paper, if there is one, to the Society’s Working Paper Archive.
Must… resist… urge… to… only… analyze… data.